A Visit From Saint Woz

© c. 1989 Marty Knight

(Parody of “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” by Clement Moore)

This is not one that I wrote, but it is such a good parody of the classic Christmas poem that I wanted to include it. I do not have any way of contacting Mr. Knight, but I do not think he will mind it being posted just one more time.

Interestingly, I have found two versions of this on the Internet, so will reproduce them both here. The earliest version to it that I can find is a Usenet post from December 23, 1989 (found on Textfiles.com). The author of that post (“unknownuser”) said that he was posting it with permission of the author:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, sounds all through the house,
the printer a’buzzing; the clicking of mouse.
The floppies were stored in their cases with care
in hopes that St. Wozniak soon would be there.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
while TransWarp GS’s[1] danced in their heads.
I need 3 megs more, but RAM costs a mint.
I’m nodding off, waiting for my printer to print.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I woke with a start, “Now what’s the matter?”
Awakened from slumber I jumped up to see,
tripped over the dog and fell on my knee.

The moon shining onto the new fallen snow
formed a non-standard palette[2] with objects below.
When what to my poor bloodshot eyes should appear
but SHR[3] graphics! Stereo sound do I hear!

With a sixteen bit chip and new bug-free GS/OS,
I knew right away that it must be Saint Woz.
More rapid than Transwarp, his menus they came.
He clicked and he dragged and he called them by name.

“Now Pulldowns, now Buttons, now Dialogs, too.
On Finder, Mac Interface, we’re faster than Mac II!
Blue slips for marketing! DTS[4] better not scoff!
ProDOS format for Technotes or I’ll lay you all off!

You know lame excuses make customers sad;
well Macs in the schools make Applers mad.”
So up to the housetop his menus they flew
with a sack full of RAM chips and Saint Wozniak, too.

I listened intently with my two little ears
to true stereo sound spreading holiday cheer.
As I was scratching head and was turning around
down the chimney Saint Wozniak came with a bound.

He wore sneakers, a T-shirt, and blue jeans
stained with some soda (I think it was cream).[5]
A bundle of chips he had slung on his back
and he looked like a hacker there searching his pack.

His eyes twinkled brightly, his dimples so merry,
his cheeks like twin apples, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth smiled a smile O so grand,
a full bearded chin, AppleLink in his hand.

A thick slice of pizza he held tight with his teeth
while the steam from it circled his head like a wreath.
A plump little face and a round little belly;
he laughed and it shook like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump; a right jolly old elf.
I laughed when I saw him – he resembled myself.
He winked his left eye and he twisted his head,
so I knew deep inside I had nothing to dread.

He said not a word, just went right to work.
He soldered and programmed, then turned with a jerk.
Then placing his finger on top of that mess,
and giving a nod – POOF! fast GS!

He leaped to his ship as it rose from the ground,
up into the sky, and as he turned ’round
I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight,
“GS plusses for all, and to all a good night!”

The second version that I’ve found appeared in the December 1995 edition of GEnieLamp. It does not say there whether or not the newer poem appeared in the posts on GEnie or came directly from the author. I do not know if Mr. Knight made a new version and submitted it, or if someone else made a new version and put it out under his name. Notice that this version differs significantly from the first. Saint Wozniak still comes with presents, but the introduction reflects the discontinuation of the Apple IIGS line and implies the author has not been using his computer for a while (“My GS is dusty and so is the mouse.”) The author rejoices in all of the great products that were available for the IIGS (SoundSmith, Quickie, etc), and also mentions the changes at inCider/A+, where the Mac was getting more attention and the Apple II was getting less.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, no sound in the house.
My GS is dusty and so is my mouse.
My dealer’s gone Mac; he’s too brainwashed to care.
Apple marketing smells like that old dairy-air.

My children are nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Mac LCs (ugh) dance in their heads.
The GS is dead, I’ve heard them all say.
They might just be right; things look pretty gray.

When all of a sudden a great noise I did hear.
I woke with a start and fell flat on my rear.
Awakened from slumber I jumped up to see,
Tripped over the cat and twisted my knee.

The moon brightly shone on the new fallen snow.
I looked but saw nothing, then turning to go,
Stopped short… What’s that?… Is that synthLAB[6] I hear?
Why yes! Yes it is! That’s good reason to cheer!

I jumped and I shouted and I danced then because
I knew right away that it must be Saint Woz.
More rapid than Zip Chip[7], old Wozniak came.
He whistled and shouted and called out by name:

“Now Quickie[8]! Now Allison![9] Now AppleWorks GS!
Go Claris! On SuperConvert[10]! I love you Vitesse[11]!
Platinum Paint[12] is so cool! Twilight Screen blanker[13] rules!
Who needs those old Macs when you’ve got Apple IIs?

“If you have been true I’ve got presents to dole,
But if you’re like inCider you’ll get lumps of coal.”
So up to the housetop with the Green Team he flew;
Jim Merritt[14], Andy Nicholas[15], and Saint Wozniak, too.

I kept very quiet so that I might hear
SoundSmith[16] tunes softly playing, spreading Apple II cheer.
Then I heard a slight scrape and as I turned ’round,
Down the chimney Saint Wozniak came with a bound.

He wore blue jeans and sneakers and a T-shirt that said
II-Infinitum[17] … II-Forever[18]… I had nothing to dread!
A sack of great software he had slung on his back
And he looked like a hacker there searching his pack.

His eyes twinkled brightly, his dimples so merry,
his cheeks red as apples, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth smiled a smile oh so grand.
And a full bearded chin, GDL[19] labels in hand.

A thick slice of pizza he held tight in his teeth
And the steam from it circled his head like a wreath.
A plump little face and a round little belly.
He laughed and it shook like a bowl of grape jelly.

He was chubby and plump; a right jolly old elf.
I laughed when I saw him, for he looked like myself.
He winked right at me then he twisted his head,
So I knew deep inside I had nothing to dread.

He said not a word. He went straight to work,
Programming in ORCA[20], then he turned with a jerk.
Then placing his finger on top of that mess,
And giving a nod… games for the GS!

He jumped to his sleigh and it rose from the ground.
But before it took off I saw him turn ’round,
And I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight,
“Apple II Forever, and to all a good night!”

  1. [1] Applied Engineering‘s famous Apple IIGS accelerator card.
  2. [2] The Apple IIGS used several color “palettes” for the super hi-res mode. A “non-standard palette”, then, refers to a color palette that is not a standard on the GS.
  3. [3] SHR = super hi-res graphics
  4. [4] DTS = Apple Developer Technical Support
  5. [5] One of the earliest computers that Steve Wozniak and his friend Bill Fernandez built out of left-over parts, switches and lights was called the the “Cream Soda Computer”. The name came from the Cragmont cream soda they consumed while building it.
  6. [6] Released by Apple with System 6.0 to demonstrate the capabilities of the Ensoniq chip in the Apple IIGS
  7. [7] Third party accelerator made for 8-bit Apple II computers
  8. [8] Handheld scanner made for the IIGS by Blue Sky Information Technologies in the early 1990s.
  9. [9] The control program, written in 1990 by Scott (last name)? and Jonah Stitch for the Enhanced Vision Plus Digitizer.
  10. [10] Great graphics program written by Jason Harper for the Apple IIGS
  11. [11] Company that wrote a number of important Apple IIGS utilities, including the Harmonie printer drivers, software for the Quickie Hand Scanner, Salvation: Backup, Salvation:Renaissance, Salvation:Deliverance, and Salvation:Wings
  12. [12] Graphics program published by Beagle Bros
  13. [13] A screen saver for the Apple IIGS released back in 1993 by Jim Maricondo of Digisoft Innovations
  14. [14] He coordinated development of the System 5.0 Finder, and in the early 1980s wrote articles about Pascal for Softalk magazine.
  15. [15] Author of ShrinkIt and GS-ShrinkIt, a file compression and archive utility for the Apple II series. He later worked at Apple on system software for the Apple IIGS.
  16. [16] A popular Apple IIGS music playback and creation program written by Huibert Aalbers.
  17. [17] Referring to the campaign in 1989 to try to convince Apple Computer to pay more attention to the revenue-producing base of Apple II users.
  18. [18] The slogan used at the launch of the Apple IIc back in April 1984.
  19. [19] Sorry, don’t know what GDL refers to.
  20. [20] The assembler and C compiler suite sold by ByteWorks, used as the preferred platform for development for the Apple IIGS.
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